Last week I went to see Pipeline, a riveting play, at least on its surface, about education. I left the theater fantasizing about the opportunities for lesson plans that lived within the lines of the play. I went home and googled the Gwendolyn Brooks poem repeated throughout the narrative. I read an article about the playwright. I scanned YouTube for clips from The Wire and Dangerous Minds, both referenced by teachers in the play. I knew I’d want to use each of these things in unit or lesson plans someday, but I wasn’t quite sure how it all fit together. So, instead of pinning them to be lost between craft videos and recipes or saving them to a never-ending list of bookmarks, I added them to my Planner in Kiddom.
For teachers using Kiddom, when you find excellent curriculum resources and content, you can save them down in your Planner, organized in units or playlists, without assigning it to students until you (or they) are ready. Saving ideas on Pinterest to use later means remembering what you Pinned, searching through your boards to find it, and downloading it to send digitally or to print for students. With Kiddom’s Planner, you skip all of that and simply drag-and-drop the assignments into your Timeline to assign them to your class, students grouped by mastery level, or an individual student. Here are 5 tips for using Planner to save teaching resources.
1. Spark Creativity
To store thought-provoking photographs or illustrations to use as inspiration for daily free-write prompts or art critiques. Simply download the image in .pdf or .jpg format and attach them to the assignments, upload them to Google Drive (using Kiddom’s Google Drive integration), or copy-and-paste the URL into the assignment description.
2. Build Student Ownership
Offering students choice is a classic strategy to increase engagement, but it can be time-consuming to gather multiple sets of resources to meet student interest during the school year. With Planner, you can gather resources ahead of time, give students a range of options, and once they’ve chosen, assign them only relevant texts or assignments.
3. Enrich or Remediate
Students learn best when they learn at their own pace. If your Reports tell you that some students are still developing in a skill, you can assign them extra resources like videos or lower-level texts that you’ve stored in Planner. When a student is ready to move ahead after mastering one assignment, you can send them more challenging extension activities directly from Planner and right on time.
4. Bring Current Events to Life
History teachers can help students draw connections by saving current events articles that connect to historical topics, and assign when they reach that point in time. Math teachers can save articles about “math in the news” to ground theoretical concepts in everyday language. Saving articles means that you won’t have to waste time searching around to find that article from a few weeks ago — upload it to planner and it will be waiting for you.
5. Set Goals and Reflect
Strong social emotional skills can support students in becoming lifelong learners. Part of developing strong self-management and awareness skills is reflecting on your own progress and setting goals to improve. Pairing Planner with Kiddom’s Reports means being able to ask students to pause, reflect, and plan exactly at the right moment. Setting goals in the middle of a project may be frustrating for one student, and another student may need to complete personal reflection activities more frequently. With Planner, you’re a few seconds closer to more independent, thoughtful students.
A teacher friend once told me, “every time I ride the train, I see something I want to teach about. Content is everywhere.” She’s right. In this information age, there’s so much out there for our students to explore. With Planner, save the things that are just right for your students, and start the year strong. When you and your students are ready, drag-and-drop them into your classes and teach away.